The group gathers together in the common room, introducing themselves and disclosing their talents.
- Felix Durant – a Journeyman wizard of the Costodes Clavis Rutilus, with an interest in swordplay and inventing new magics
- Laudegrance “Lance” Sauveterre – a wild fire mage who has learned to control his powers. he also can cast a few simple wizard spells
- Sir Albrich Alvison of House Thearfing – a young knight eager to prove his worth in real combat and bring honor to his house.
- Brother Wymond of Ayers – a traveling monk of the Highlord, joining the group to assist them in bringing Justice to the brigands
- Sir Itzal Guerrero de Paso -– a skilled fencer who brings real combat experience to the group
- Berengar, son of Rengar – A horse nomad who was separated from his people and became a Druid priest of St Silvio.
- Petri – a wizard with little to no formal training in magic, he is a traveling busker of many talents that uses simple illusions to enhance his performances. Also a ham
Sir Jean recapped his reason for gathering the group, and explained what little he knew about the brigands. after a short discussion the party decided to split up and see what sort of rumors they could gather from the townsfolk.
- Brother Wymond heard a rumor that the brigands might really be orcs, but this was quickly dismissed based on the low body count.
- Lance discovered a very drunken who man espouses that he saw a black knight leading brigands on an attack but cannot quantify when he saw it or where he was. next he learned that of the farms that were hit, all had just taken grain to the miller. lasty he learned that there are missing townsfolk. some men, but mostly women, have disappeared over the past year (just before brigand trouble started. (some think they joined or were kidnapped/killed by the brigands.) families of missing people are making excuses and ignoring problem
- Sir Itzal learned that The baron’s wool barn was burglarized by the brigands, and that The Baron’s Tithe to the prince is composed largely of wool. which will make paying his taxes difficult. some people fear they may be taxed twice this year.
- Felix learned the Baron disinherited his son after a terrible fight last year, and that If the baron can’t make his taxes, the prince may take his title, giving it to his son or a neighboring lord
After a few hours the party rejoined and went to dinner at the Baron’s manor. knowing that the baron employed a wizard, Felix and Sir jean made sure to forewarn Master Markus that one of thier party members was a wild mage, but had learned to control his powers. Markus was unusually accepting and even intrigued by Lance, and was quite kind and willing to offer what assistance he could to the party. the Baron on the otherhand turned out to be a terse, and ungracious host with little to no patience except when speaking to the Knights within the party. he provided a little more information about the brigands but gave the impression that he was paying the party more than he wished to part with to deal with the problem for him.
one of the things the party learned at dinner was that there were only two likely general places where the brigands might be hiding. either they were in the Baron’s forest, or they were in the old wood. the oldwood is widely regarded as being haunted, and very few people ever get up the courage to venture near it, let alone enter it. Berengar vouched for this rumor, claiming there was truth behind it and that the party should stay out of the oldwood, and that it was unlikely the brigands would be able to stand or survive the place. when the party insisted on verifying this, Berengar agreed that he would go into the oldwood and verify, but that the party needed to stay outside.
as the party came into sight of the oldwood, most lost any desire to come nearer and gladly followed Berengar’s advice. when Berengar had been gone for 20 minutes, Lance decided to go a short distance into the wood to look for him, carefully leaving a chalk trail on trees to mark a path back out. shortly into his search he turned back to check his chalk trail but could not find it. in his panic, he lost his bearings and wandered deeper into the woods. he heard foot falls and panting breaths as a handful of wolves emerged from the forest, flanking him and nipping at his heels to try to disable him.
while he moved frantically to keep his legs away from the wolves footsteps Lance became aware of the sound of something massive crashing through the trees heading towards him. not wanting to unleash his fire amid the forest, Lance used the only other defensive he could think of. invoking the power of his family’s shield he raised a dome of earth about himself. after a few seconds sitting catching his breath in his dirty bubble, he noticed that the sound of footsteps had halted. a few more seconds passed and he heard a low, resounding voice say something in a language he did not understand. then a giant hand calmly and gently broke apart his earthen bubble and gazed down at him.
the creature turned out to be an ent, a rarely seen race of giant treefolk. it was carrying Berengar easily in it’s hand. it kindly and gently told Lance that these woods were not safe for most of mankind, and that it would be in his best interest to depart. having had one of the worst frights of his life, Lance complied and quickly left the wood with Berengar. once outside, Berengar firmly admonished Lance for not heeding his warnings. he also confirmed that they were the first humans who had disturbed the forest in some time, proving that the brigands were not camping there.
after this the party turned in for the night, one avenue of investigation closed.